Croatia at the time of the Turkish conquests

In the 13th century, the Ottoman Turks, named after their ruler Osman, established their state in Asia Minor (present-day Turkey). By the end of the 14th century, they had conquered much of Byzantium, almost all of Asia Minor, and much of the Balkans.

In 1453, under the leadership of Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror, the Turks conquered Constantinople, made it the capital and named it Istanbul. By 1482, the Ottomans had conquered Serbia, Bosnia (because of the easy conquest it is said that "Bosnia fell in a whisper"), Albania and Herzegovina, and they came dangerously close to Hungarian-Croatian territory. In the 15th century, the Hungarian-Croatian Kingdom went through a period of instability due to constant battles for the throne and conflicts between rulers and nobles. Kings Sigismund of Luxembourg and Matthias Corvinus tried to create a defence system on the border with Ottoman territory after the fall of Bosnia, but without success, and Turkish invasions began. On Krbava field in 1493, the Croatian noble army led by Ban Emerik Derenčin lost hard against the Turks. It is said that in that battle "the flower of the Croatian nobility died".

This was followed by a difficult period for Croatia, which was reduced to "remnants of remnants". The new Sultan Suleiman II the Magnificent conquered Belgrade as early as 1521 and opened his way to Hungary, and in 1526 he defeated the Hungarian-Croatian King Louis II in the battle of the Mohács field. Part of the nobility turned to the Habsburgs for help and in 1527 elected Ferdinand of Habsburg as king. Although he promised help, Ferdinand did not devote himself to defence from the Turks because until 1540 he was engaged in battles with Ivan Zapolje, whom the other part of the nobility chose as king. The Turks tried to reach Vienna on several occasions, but in 1532 they were prevented by Nikola Jurišić in the battle of Kiseg, and in 1566 by Nikola Šubić Zrinski near Siget. In 1593, Ban Toma Erdödy defended Sisak, after which the establishment of the Military Frontier began - a system of fortifications from the Drava to the Adriatic, established to facilitate defence against the Turks. One of the fortifications built within the Military Border was the present-day town of Karlovac. In 1683, the Ottomans reached Vienna, but the city was defended. From 1683 to 1699, a large part of Croatian territory was liberated, and peace with the Ottomans was made in Srijemski Karlovci. After that, the Turkish incursions gradually thinned out and stopped.

The Republic of Dubrovnik managed to avoid war because it paid tribute to the Ottomans. This whole period was prosperous for Dubrovnik until the 17th century, when world trade spread to the Atlantic, and until the devastating earthquake of 1667 that destroyed Dubrovnik.

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